Me? White Coat Syndrome? Really??

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Today I had my annual routine physical. It was a little early, since my first visit was last November, but the blood-work that was used was from last summer. So rather than have this visit (originally scheduled for the end of May) as just a follow-up to check my blood pressure, I requested that it be my annual physical. (My insurance pays for those in full!)

So (you might be thinking), what was my blood pressure at the office visit? It was still high...170/90 (approx.). Ugh!! I did bring my home BP monitor with me to the visit. I then immediately checked it on mine. It was still high...157/102 with a pulse of 91. (Can you believe the bottom number? I never have problems with that number!) So they had me sit in a chair with my arm relaxed on the table while I waited for the dr to come in. I then had him check it again. It was better, but still the 150 range for the top number. I then retook it with mine a comparison. This time it was right in line with the doctor's reading...149/96 (way high for that bottom number, again) with a pulse of 84. (What is up with that pulse? I was just sitting there!)

This is so unlike what my readings have been. I explained that to my doctor. In fact, I had checked my BP about an hour or so before the office visit this morning. The average of 3 readings was 112/69 with a pulse of 60. That's usually what my readings are now. Sometimes the top number is in the 120s (occasionally the 130s depending on what I've been doing), but NOTHING like what it was at the doctor's office.

So...since he was able to see that I am monitoring my BP AND that my monitor was right in line with their office reading, he wants me to just keep an eye on it. If I see it increasing, I am to call the dr's office. (Thank God for a BP monitor that saves your readings in it's memory!) No more BP follow-up visits and no BP medication!! Yay!

Doc was impressed with my progress so far with my weight loss (60 pounds since my initial visit in November). I told him about SP and what I had been doing. He simply instructed me to keep up what I was doing.

Last thing: blood work. They were able to take it right at the office...since I hadn't eaten yet. Now I just need to wait to see what my numbers are. He did indicate High Blood Pressure on the test order to be sure that they checked certain things (electrolytes, potassium, cholesterol, not sure what else). I can't wait to find out that all are in the "normal" range. Last year I remember one thing that was of a little concern was that my good cholesterol was low. My bad cholesterol was fine. My doctor told me that exercise increases the good cholesterol. I'd imagine that my levels are much improved over last year!!

They say that some people just get so nervous at the dr's office, their readings are always high @ the office. Below is a link to a Wikipedia entry about White Coat Hypertension (aka White Coat Syndrome).

Who knew? Funny thing was, I didn't FEEL like I was nervous or anything (although I was REALLY wanting my BP reading to be normal). I could feel that my pulse seemed faster, but that was it. Well, that's over now...'til next year!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Welcome to the White Coat Syndrome Club -smiles!!! I suffer from this as well and though I am aware it happens every time I visit the doctors office. I had to to what you did ... brought in my home monitor and let the doctor checked it out. I guess she thought that it was malfunctioning or I wasn't reading it properly. Luckily. like yours, its one that stores the readings. Anyways, emoticon on the weight loss! Keep up the good work.
    3539 days ago
  • no profile photo JUSTMEINT

    Do you ever wonder why doctors keep pushing pills and prescriptions onto sick people, when a little bit of effort - as in actually reading the 'peer reviewed' scientific studies would tell doctors that these medicines have dangerous side effects and have the ability to make sick people even sicker, and healthy people into life long patients.

    They could also simply read the package inserts that come with medications.

    Blood Pressure levels and blood pressure medications are in the control of the pharmaceutical Industry. White coat syndrome can give undesirable readings..... read the article for some answers why.

    3546 days ago
    Great job with your weight loss success and staying off the medicine. It may just be your anxiety of wanting it to be lower.
    3555 days ago
    Best thing I did was purchase a home BP monitor. I was able to show my doctor my normal readings. I think that satisfied him enough for now. The blood work was a double-check I be sure there really aren't any lingering problems. I don't expect there will be.
    3556 days ago
  • JACKIEP1961
    I know the feeling - I have been trying to persuade my doctor to take me off my BP meds as all other readings indicate it is fine except when I go to see him! Glad it's not just me then.

    Congrats on the awesome weight loss - good luck with all the other tests.

    Jackie x
    3556 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5959732
    I also suffer from White Coat Syndrome. It stinks! Keep up the great work! emoticon
    3556 days ago
    Way to go! You are doing terrific! Hmmmm.. . . . wonder what it is about those white coats?? Keep doing what you are doing! I'll be looking to hear how the numbers are from the blood draw! emoticon
    3556 days ago
    Keep up the SUPER efforts...the BP will follow the pounds and drop soon enough...!

    3556 days ago
    I always have "white coat syndrome". Sometimes it goes down after sitting a few minutes. At home it's always where it should be. And as many doctors that I have seen in my lifetime (I'm a hydrocephilic-water on the brain-it's on the "H" part of the articles) and have been that way since I was 5 months old and am now 52 years old, you would think I would be use to it. No such luck!!! LOL!!!
    3557 days ago
  • 1849HOPPY
    I thought I was the only one - no, wait, there's already a name for it. Sounds like you are working on getting those numbers down.

    emoticon on the loss.
    3557 days ago
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